If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Foxfield Railway - Accident Report

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Christopher125, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    461
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    The RAIB has just released its report into the serious injury of a guard, which led to the ORR conducting its own independent investigation, preventing further railway operation until the line could present evidence of the competence of safety-critical staff. It doesnt make pleasant reading unfortunately.

    http://www.raib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Bulletin (Foxfield) 01-2011.pdf

    Chris
     
  2. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    261
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Operations Manager for NR
    Location:
    Worcester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Wow - quite a blow to the railway.
     
  3. Coboman

    Coboman New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    GNR Outpost
    Let this be a warning to other preserved railways. Get your rule books up to date and make sure all volunteers in safety critical jobs have one. The ELR recently pulled its socks up and now everybody who volunteers is up to speed with a working members ID card, rule book, and attended a safety management system lecture. Its worth it!
    Jim
     
  4. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    261
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Operations Manager for NR
    Location:
    Worcester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Add to that all the record keeping of competencies and information on rolling stock.

    Bit of a shot across the bows from the ORR I think.
     
  5. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    1,291
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Rhiwabon
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    One thing for all heritage railways to consider is to incorporate some anti-slip aggregate into the paint coating on vehicle steps used by both staff & public. Most people tend to paint these with black gloss because it looks nice.

    Bob.
     
  6. Merlin

    Merlin New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    4
    Since Foxfield don't start train services until April they should be able to get their arrangements sorted out by then and resume operating without any apparent pause.
    If the timing of the incident and the prevention of operation sanction had been different it could have been a major financial problem and very damaging to their reputation.
    The warning to everyone is very clear.
     
  7. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    261
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Operations Manager for NR
    Location:
    Worcester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I'd love to know how the Foxfield got themselves into this situation whether it's through ignorance or by accident. It's a reminder that preserved railways can't exist in a self-created bubble away from the real world of railway operation and modern standards and systems.
     
  8. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    691
    I've worked at the Foxfield occasionally and they are a friendly and well organised outfit. I'm sure that where it really matters they are doing the job right, and that the problem is writing down what they do, not doing it different. But, it aint what you do, its the way that you prove that you did it.

    Twenty years ago, if you turned up and looked keen any railway would sign you up and put you to work without asking too many questions, and certainly not written ones. It would be a shame if we lost that completely, and the pressure to recruit is always there.

    However the world moves on. Twenty years ago, If I had a terminally stubborn nut and bolt to deal with I used a hammer and chisel. Today I may well reach for my trusty angle grinder, which is much more dangerous.

    I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and what he is having to do is, a) document his standard of track maintenance b) show how the track is inspected and maintained to that standard by written records c) show how all volunteers in the PW dept are pased as competent for the jobs they are doing d) that the people doing the passing out are themselves competent. That is a ton of paperwork, just for that department.

    Tim
     
  9. R Barnett

    R Barnett New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Press Release 16.02.11

    Incident on the Foxfield Railway on Sunday 24th October 2010


    On October 24th during the Autumn Gala, a guard was attempting to board a slowly moving brake van when he lost his footing and fell backwards sustaining a dislocated shoulder. No member of the public was involved in the incident, and no passenger trains were involved.

    As required by RIDDOR and other legislation, HMRI (ORR) and RAIB were informed. Subsequently, both of these Government agencies have carried out separate investigations in addition to those conducted internally by the railway.

    RAIB have issued a bulletin today, 16th February, which summarises the event. HMRI discovered that some staff were carrying out tasks without, at the time, the correct certification. Consequentially, HMRI have set the railway a time limit of April to have the staff re-certification system in place.

    Immediately after the incident, and before the HMRI report, the railway management itself suspended all Safety Critical Staff from operational duty until they had been re-assessed. This process started at the end of October and has continued since.

    Consequentially, the railway was able to operate a full and highly successful Santa season throughout December despite the very bad weather which caused disruption on other lines. The railway has already prepared its 2011 timetable which will be released to the railway press shortly.

    Ends:

    This should clear any misunderstandings and suspicions surrounding the incident.

    Regards Richard
     
  10. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,844
    Likes Received:
    7,686
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Former NP Member
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I was going to point out that the Santa season had, to the best of my knowledge, operated - many thanks to Richard for the clarification.

    The speed with which the Foxfield was able to satisfy HMRI/ORR suggests that a major part of the problem was the documentation rather than the actual competencies of staff.

    I think a difficulty here for the whole movement is that it can be very difficult to convince "hands-on" people that there actually a need for the paperwork and those who actually do the paperwork are undervalued and even sneered at by the others who consider themselves the real "workers". Let Foxfield's misfortune be a message to everyone that in the modern world being capable of doing is a job means nothing if you can't prove that you are capable and have been correctly and frequently assessed as such.

    Steven
     
  11. Orion

    Orion New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    5
    Occupation:
    Pensioner!
    Location:
    North-west London
    Can't help but think that this is an over-reaction to a broken shoulder, both by the authorities and by other contributors to this thread.

    Regards
     
  12. std tank

    std tank Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    654
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Liverpool
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It could have been much worse. Safety is paramount.
     
  13. Stewie Griffin

    Stewie Griffin New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    5
    A couple of years ago, there were 2 fatalities within a short space of time while shunting. I know someone very well who lost a leg below the knee as a result of a shunting incident. I can't help but think you haven't thought of the potential consequences before that post.

    It is fortunate that this incident was not so severe, but that is no reason to condemn any responses as an over-reaction. The paper trail referred to is an essential part of covering your arse should an incident happen.
     
  14. s1m0nad

    s1m0nad New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    17
  15. Bramblewick

    Bramblewick New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    198
    A couple of years ago, at a gala event on a railway which I won't name, I watched as carriages were shunted while passengers were climbing in and out of them, under the 'control' of half a dozen people in HV vests all giving conflicting orders to the driver. Notwithstanding the stupidity of the punters in this case, there is still some genuinely dangerous practice going on out there
     
  16. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    461
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Its far from an over reaction when you consider the line runs a constantly varying fleet of loco's down extremely steep gradients, operates complex gala's involving many unsignalled movements and shunting with loose coupled wagons, and in the future hopes to run regular passenger trains down a 1 in 19 gradient. Ensuring that proceedures are understood and followed, that vehicles new to the line go through a thorough and formal inspection, and that safety critical staff remain competent in their duties are not nice-to-have's but a necessity and so is the need to prove it - accidents will happen, unfortunately.

    Chris
     
  17. toplight

    toplight Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    953
    Location:
    Swindon, England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think despite all the paper trails and rule books and high vis vests, people need to think all the time about their own personal safety , Now is what I am doing safe ? Does it feel safe ? For example making sure ladders are secure before you go up them. Putting goggles and masks on when using power tools. Wearing steel toe capped boots when in working in workshops. Wearing gloves for some jobs. Not overstraining machines, setting the machines up correctly before you use them. Not using dangerous power tools if you are feeling really tired/distracted.

    I always for example keep off the tracks when shunting is being done and out of the way. A high vis vest doesn't stop you being crushed. When my father was on the railway at Hellifield a young lad he started with stepped between the buffers of two steam engines that were in a long line. Another engine backed into the end of the line. All the locos moved up and the young lad was killed, crushed between the buffers.

    I know of one old guy vaguely at a preserved line who lost an eye when using a strimmer to clear the lineside vegetation. It kicked up a small stone and blinded him in one eye. A simple cheap pair of goggles would have prevented this.
     
  18. Orion

    Orion New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    5
    Occupation:
    Pensioner!
    Location:
    North-west London
    Just about sums it up.

    Regards
     
  19. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    693
    Likes Received:
    390
    No, safety is NOT paramount, or we would not have preserved railways in the first place. Or amusement parks or motorcycles or Rugby football.

    What is important is, having decided an activity is to take place, that sensible precautions are taken to avoid _unnecessary_ risk. Most H&S professionals are aware of this difference. Unfortunatly many managers, bureaucrats, politicians, commentators and other general finger pointers and busybodies are not.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    261
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Operations Manager for NR
    Location:
    Worcester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I certainly thought it was an over-reaction from the ORR - I think it was quite deliberate to send out a message to the preserved railway sector. It could have set the Foxfield a deadline to have all its paperwork in order but this rather drastic action suggests something else.
     

Share This Page